In the story of the 4 who entered Pardes (Chagigah starting on 14b) it says that Elisha ben Abuyah saw Metatron the angel sitting and therefore became a heretic. In order to show Elisha that Metatron is not an independent power the angel was given 60 lashes of fire. My questions are:
- What is the symbolism (if any) with the number 60? Usually a human is given up to 39 lashes.
- Does this gemarah imply that an angel feels pain? If not what was the point in lashing him at all?